You can blame South by Southwest for that, too. While we’re getting loads of cinematic gold thrust upon our senses and very little sleep, the rest of the movie world is still spinning. It’s time to take a gander at how everything looks to be playing out at the box office this weekend, but in a capsule form.
The new films are Paul, Limitless, and The Lincoln Lawyer. None of them look to make much of a statement with how well they’ll play at this weekend’s box office, but none of them look to bomb, either. The big winner is likely to be Battle: Los Angeles once again despite the lack of love it’s getting from critics. Audiences want big action. They want it loud, and Battle: Los Angeles definitely delivers both. Character studies don’t make bank unless the word King or the word Speech is in their title. Just ask Michael Bay through his gold, diamond-encrusted cell phone how well big, dumb action sells to the masses. He’ll have a story or two to tell.
Paul seems the most expected of the new batch of films to come out swinging, ie higher than $15 million. Its two leads, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, aren’t exactly bringing in the crowds even though they are both beloved by movie fans. Just take a look at the receipts for How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and Run Fat Boy Run to see how marketable Pegg is. Paul has something more to offer, though, the fun alien comedy with a voice by Seth Rogen. That’s sure to help Paul, and it will more than likely come in the #2 spot behind the other alien movie. The one where we actually shoot the aliens with flurries of bullets. This once again proves my theory that bullets are stronger than Bill Hader. Sorry, Bill.
Bradley Cooper may be the new Matthew McConaughey (I don’t know. Something I overheard one time), but on a more histrionic level. Plus he knows when to keep his shirt on. That’s something he does in Limitless. Being 50 moves ahead of Robert De Niro is sure to help him and Limitless as a whole this weekend even if it isn’t able to break much higher than low teens. The movie isn’t taking its own pill, but it’ll do just fine.
You know who’s not the new Matthew McConaughey? Matthew McConaughey. He’s still capable of pulling out the hits. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was able to open to $15.4 million, but The Lincoln Lawyer may not have the mass appeal of a goofy comedy. The last couple of times McConaughey has appeared in these serious movies, he hasn’t been able to open them to more than $10 million. We Are Marshall opened in 2006 with $6.1 million, and Two For the Money debuted to $8.7 million in 2005. The Lincoln Lawyer could pick up a broader audience by acting under the guise of a John Grisham movie. Hey, my mom wants to see it, which is more than I can say for the pothead alien movie.
Here’s is how the weekend is shaping up:
- Battle: Los Angeles – $19.1m (-46%)
- Paul – $15.6m NEW
- Limitless – $14.7m NEW
- Rango – $13.3m (-41.1%)
- The Lincoln Lawyer – $11.1m NEW
- Red Riding Hood – $6.6m (-52.3%)
- The Adjustment Bureau – $5.9m (-48.5%)
- Mars Needs Moms – $3.8m (-43.7%)
- Hall Pass – $2.7m (-45%)
- Beastly – $2.5m (-50%)
That adds up to $95.3 million for the top 10 down from the previous couple of weeks. That’s expected, though. The early weeks of March had the one-two punch of Rango and Battle: Los Angeles debuting to major numbers. The lack of big opening films this weekend was sure to create a bit of a slump for the total weekend, but May is right around the corner. The coming weeks are sure to begin a steady incline to the warmer season, the blockbuster season.
We’ll be back on Sunday night to go over the numbers.